Frequently Asked Question’s
Some parents don’t quite know what to make of wrestling as a sport because comparing wrestling to other sports such as soccer, football, baseball or lacrosse is impossible to do. Although wrestling is an outstanding team sport, when the wrestler walks out to compete on the mat they do so by themselves with only the moral support of their parents, coaches, teammates and spectators.
The individual nature of wrestling is what makes those kids who wrestle such outstanding leaders. They become self starters who understand the importance of hard work, preparation and mastering fundamentals. No other sport fosters self-respect, builds confidence, and treats the athlete to the thrill of victory other than the sport of wrestling. It’s a great year round sport and a great way to develop athleticism, speed, strength or mental and emotional skills.
Below are just some of the questions new wrestling families may have. Please read them and feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.
Q: In what style of wrestling does Gladiators provide instruction?
A: There are 3 main styles of wrestling: Freestyle, Greco-Roman and Folkstyle. Each style has its own rules and techniques. In the United States, by far the most common style of wrestling is folkstyle as it is taught in middle school, high school and college. Gladiators provides instruction in folkstyle and freestyle wrestling.
Q: What is the objective of the sport of wrestling?
A: The objective of wrestling is to “pin” your opponent by placing both of your opponents shoulder blades on the mat at the same time. However, most matches do not end by a pin and wrestlers obtain points for various moves which are described later in the FAQ’s.
Q: When is the wrestling season?
A: At Gladiators, the wrestling season is year round. However, wrestling is a winter sport and in high school and college the wrestling season runs roughly from November though March. The more serious wrestlers stay in athletic shape by participating in wrestling training in the off season. There is no better workout.
Q: A youth wrestling team may include children from 2nd grade through 8th grade. Doesn’t it cause problems to have older and younger kids on the same team?
A: Absolutely not. In fact, we have found the exact opposite is true. What makes wrestling the most unique sport in the world is at a wrestling match you will witness a 7th grader interacting with a 3rd grader not only as an equal and respected teammate but just as importantly a friend. These kids work out together day in and day out and build mutual respect. Wrestling is a great way for younger children to learn leadership skills from older children who become mentors and leaders. Every child, no matter what age, benefits when they participate in wrestling.
Q: What should my child wear to wrestling practice?
A: Your child should wear shorts, a t-shirt, wrestling shoes and head gear to practice. If you are new to the sport please talk to the coaches before buying anything. We may have equipment for your child to use.
Q: Who will my child be wrestling with?
A: In practice your child will wrestle with the kids closest to their age, weight and ability. In tournaments your child will typically wrestle within his age group and usually within +/- 5lbs of their weight. We try to match age, experience and weight the best we can.
Q: Will my child get hurt?
A: Statistically, wrestling is much safer than most sports. Safety is built into the sports and there are many preventative measures to prevent serious injuries. Further, referees and coaches are standing right by the wrestlers and able to take steps necessary to protect the athletes. However, wrestling is not a gentle sport and your child will be banged and bruised on occasion, this is normal.
Q: My Grandpa was a wrestler, he had those “funny” ears wrestlers get, will that happen to my child?
A: Headgear is required in practice, matches and tournaments. This equipment prevents “cauliflower ear.”
Q: What should I expect from the first season?
A: This really depends on the age of your child. Gladiators tailors its training to the age, maturity and experience level of the wrestler. However, in general, your child should return home from practice tired. Gladiators works hard to mentor wrestlers at all levels and adjusts the training to the needs and capabilities of the individual student.
Q: As a first year wrestler how will my child do in tournaments?
A: Novice is Novice. Because of this Gladiators tries to match wrestlers base on age, weight and experience level. The objective is simply to get a novice wrestler time on the mat with other novice wrestlers. Gladiators is unique because we do not focus on winning or losing, we focus on preparation. As a novice your child will win some matches and loss some matches. Winning and losing is a part of sports and Gladiators uses both as teaching moments.
Q: Some sports programs are really competitive. How competitive is Gladiators?
A: Gladiators is owned, run and managed by past High School State Champions, NCAA Champions and High-School and College All-Americans. Gladiators coaches learned how to compete and know how to win.
However, Gladiators also recognizes that children develop at different times and at different rates so Gladiators monitors a child’s development and works to place children into wrestling situations that sets a child up for success both now and in the future.
At Gladiators our goal is to teach our students how to prepare and master fundamentals. When the child develops the leadership and mental and emotional skills necessary to compete then we start to talk about serious wrestling competition.
Gladiators goal is to create future leaders. It is not our goal to train the best 8 year old wrestler in the county. Gladiators knows that it is rare that the best 8 year old will also be the best when they reach 12 years old or when they reach 16 years old. We work to bring out the best in each student everyday. Honestly, what more can any ask for?
Q:What are the coaches like? Do they push the kids hard enough? Do they push them too hard? Why do they do this?
A: The coaches are awesome and do a great job of helping students reach their potential. Some days the student needs a little encouragement and some days they need a little tough love. Experience is the guiding hand.
If you have any questions, please take a few minutes to introduce yourself to them before or after practice. They are VERY happy to discuss with you any topic that you believe may be important for the well being of your child.
Q: What are the costs associated with Gladiators?
A: Wrestling is the least expensive organized sport your child will participate in. Gladiators fees are posted on our website. Please take a moment and review the different solutions available.
Q: What other expenses are there?
A: Concerning equipment wrestling shoes and headgear will cost about $100. Attendance at tournaments cost about $25 per event. If your child happens to wrestle on more the advanced Gladiators teams there are team costs and there may also be out-of-town tournaments which may require travel and lodging expenses.
Q: Does it matter what size a child is in order to participate in wrestling?
A: Not typically. Your child will usually wrestle other children their own weight and skill level. Youth wrestlers are placed in the following weight categories: 50 lbs, 55 lbs, 60 lbs, 65 lbs, 70lbs, 75 lbs, 80 lbs, 85 lbs, 90 lbs, 96 lbs, 102 lbs, 109lbs, 116 lbs, 123 lbs, 130 lbs, 137 lbs, 147 lbs heavyweight and super heavy weight. During the wrestling season the weight classes increase slightly to accommodate a growing child.
Q: Will my child have to lose a lot of weight in order to wrestle?
A: Losing weight is not required. Gladiators does not encourage youth athletes to lose any weight. Also, most of the weight classes are only 5 pounds apart so there are weight classes for every size child. High school and college wrestlers will cut weight. The process is highly regulated and watched over by regulating bodies.
Q: What is the difference between a wrestling match and a wrestling tournament?
A: A wrestling match is typically competition between two teams at one of the teams facilities. Your child may also wrestle in a “tri-match” or “quad-match” where there would be three or four teams respectively and each team wrestles the other team so your child would wrestle 1, 2, or 3 matches that day. These events are typically held at one of the teams facility. There are usually no fees involved for the wrestler in a match setting.
However, tournaments are much different. Tournaments are usually held by wrestling programs looking to raise a little money for their program or charity. Tournaments are open to any wrestler. You do not have to be part of a team to go to a tournament. Every tournament is different and the rules vary. The largest tournaments may have as many as 2,000 wrestlers competing. They are a lot of fun to go to.
The cost to sign up for a tournament is typically $20 -$30 dollars. Plus, spectators, which includes parents are charged $3 – $5 dollars to enter. Food is typically available for sales and you can purchase a tournament T-shirt or other gear. Some meets allow you to bring in a cooler with drinks and food and in some meets coolers are not allowed.
Q: How does my son or daughter register for a wrestling tournament?
A: Entering your first wrestling tournament can seem intimidating and a little confusing if you have never been to one. But don’t worry it doesn’t have to be. Below is some basic information.
If it is decided that your child would like to enter a competition the first thing that has to happen is that they will have to sign up or register to enter into the tournament. Each tournament has its own process to sign up and these may include:
- Completing a sign up sheet in our gym if we are attending the tournament.
- Downloading a sign up sheet from the tournament website
- Going to the tournament website and completing an electronic form.
Q: What should I expects at a wrestling tournament?
A: You should expect to be at the tournament for most of the day. Depending on the child’s weight class and how far they progress in the tournament you may be in the gym all day so plan accordingly. If you bring siblings its a good idea to bring something for them to do. You’ll see many kids reading, playing video games or doing some type of small craft.
When you arrive at the tournament you should confirm your child is registered and find out where the wrestling brackets are posted. Wrestling brackets are simply the paper sheets that will show you who wrestles who. Before the tournaments starts you will notice everyone clamored around the brackets and writing down the matches or taking pictures of the brackets so they do not have to go back.
Once the tournament starts it’s similar to catching a train. The matches are numbered and you simply have to be at the mat when your match number comes up.
The format for each tournament is different. Some tournaments are designed that only winners advance to the next round and others allow you to “wrestle back” until you have two loses. This allows a wrestler a chance to wrestle back to get to the podium and maybe earn a medal.
Wrestling tournaments are run every single weekend so there is always an opportunity to wrestle. It just depends on how far you wish to drive. Just check the internet and you will find websites that list upcoming tournaments.
Q: How many periods in a wrestling match?
A: There are 3 periods in a match plus overtime if required.
Q: Wrestling is a team sport. How does team scoring work?
A: Wrestling teams compete in dual matches and in tournaments. Each wrestler scores points for his team by winning his individual match. The amount of points a wrestler can earned for his team is predicated on the manner in which he defeats his opponent. Individuals score points for their team as follows:
POINTS TITLE DEFINITION
3 Team Points Decision Winning by 7 points or less.
4 Team Points Major Decision Winning by 8 – 14 points.
5 Team Points Technical Fall Winning by 15 points – Ends Match.
6 Team Points Fall or Forfeit Pinning your opponent.
Q: How does a wrestler score points?
A: Like any sport it takes a little time to get an understanding of the rules and scoring. Below gives a simple overview of wrestling scoring:
There are five ways to score points in a wrestling match:
- Takedown – 2 Points
- The wrestler scores two points for taking the opponent down to the mat and maintaining control of the opponent.
- Escape – 1 point
- The wrestler scores one point for escaping away from the opponent or gets to a neutral position.
- Reversal – 2 points
- The wrestler scores two points when they reverse from defense to offense and gain control of their opponent.
- Near Fall or Back Points – 2 or 3 points Depending on Time of Control
- A wrestler gets points when they expose their opponents back to the mat but not far enough to actually pin their opponent.
- A wrestler gets points when they near fall or near pin there opponent in ANY of the following ways:
- Both of the opponents shoulder blades are exposed, more than 90 degrees, to the mat for more than three seconds. If a near fall lasts for three seconds the wrestler is awarded 2 points.
- Both of the opponents shoulder blades are exposed, more than 90 degrees, to the mat for more than five seconds. If a near fall lasts for 5 seconds the wrestler is awarded 3 points.
- Penalty Points – 1 or 2 points
- Your opponent is awarded points if a wrestler commits an illegal hold.